It’s Wendy and I keep telling Jordon that he needs to stop leaving the password for his blog login laying around and he never listens to me. As he said, “Bill Clinton lost the nuclear launch codes and nothing bad happened.” Well what happened is that I am posting a gift guide for what to get the men in your life. Hopefully this post meets the requirements of the JordonCooper.com Style Guide.
What do you give to someone who spends his day working in a non-profit and then comes home every night to take care of the boys? I had Jordon give me a few suggestion which I combined with a few ideas of my own.
32 gb iPod Touch | Jordon being the geek that he is, bought a 1G iPod Touch as soon as they came out. He has sat out the last two upgrades but now the iPod Touch has a new high resolution screen, camera, and Facetime. Even I can see it’s time to upgrade and get him a new one. The iPod Touch is a music player, gaming platform, video player, and a Personal Information Manager. Jordon carries his with him each day. If your loved one doesn’t have a smartphone, he will love one of these.
Sony PSP 3000 / PSP Go | Lee bought Jordon a PSP a couple of years ago and Jordon loves it. While he was devastated that NCAA Football 11 or the Force Unleashed II are not being released for the PSP, there are still a bunch of good games to play and toss in as additional gifts. Here are a couple of suggestions
Amazon Kindle with Wifi | Jordon loves books but he hates taking books back and forth to the cabin. With the Kindle he can load it up, bring it to the lake, grab some more books if he needs to, and has them whether he goes. The Kindle also works well with Instapaper, RSS feeds, and can access the web. While it’s not a iPad, it’s not just a book reader either. One of the things that pushed Jordon towards wanting a Kindle was it’s support for major newspapers like;
- The New York Times ($19.99/month)
- International Herald Tribune ($19.99/month)
- The Globe and Mail ($15.99/month)
- National Post ($14.99/month)
- The Washington Post ($23.99/month)
- The StarPhoenix ($13.99/month)
- USA Today ($23.99/month)
- Slate ($8.99/month)
- The Financial Times ($27.99/month)
There is also magazines like Time ($3/month), The Atlantic Monthly ($2.49), Foreign Policy ($3.49), among many others. I am not the news junkie that Jordon is but I was surprised that you can’t get Macleans or Sports Illustrated yet. Maybe down the road.
While it doesn’t have the feature set that the Kindle does, you may also be interested in Chapter’s Kobo book reader which also has a growing list of newspapers available to be subscribed to. $149 from Chapters/Indigo
5.1 Channel Surround Sound System | This one works with seven different audio sources (for those of you who need hook ups for your PS3, TV, Wii, stereo, computer and whatever geek devices they fancy). If you have never watched a movie with 5.1 channel surround sound, you have no idea what you are missing. It’s a gift everyone in the family with thank you for getting. It even hooks up to an iPod and if you want to go old school, the radio. $99.99 at XS Cargo or $183 at Amazon.com
The Wire | Season 1 ($30)| Season 2 ($30) | Season 3 ($30) | Season 4 ($30) | Season 5 ($30) | Complete Series ($105) | For Father’s Day we went out and bought Jordon a portable DVD player and Season One of The Wire and was blown away by how good the series is. It is by far the greatest television show that I have ever watched on television and I was sad when it ended. I could go on but Jason Kottke has devoted so much energy blogging The Wire over the last couple of years, I’ll send you there. I’ll give you a warning though, this is not a series you will watch with anyone under the age of 16. It is brutally violent, offensive language and the occasional sex scene. If your significant other has already seen The Wire, check out this Re-Elect Clay Davis t-shirt. $22.
Battlestar Galactica | Season 1 ($36.49) | Season 2.5 ($33.49) | Razor ($11.49) | Season 3 ($37.99) | Season 4.5 ($34.99) | Complete Series ($140) | In case you were isolated from popular culture for the last couple of years, here is the story line of the incredibly popular science fiction series, Battlestar Galactica. Battlestar Galactica is set in a distant part of the galaxy, where a civilization of humans live on a series of planets known as the Twelve Colonies. In the past, the Colonies had been at war with a cybernetic race known as the Cylons. With the unwitting help of a human named Gaius Baltar, the Cylons launch a sudden sneak attack on the Colonies, laying waste to the planets and devastating their populations. The approximately 50,000 human survivors flee into space aboard any spacecraft they can reach. Of all the Colonial Fleet, the eponymous Battlestar Galactica appears to be the only military capital ship that survived the attack. Under the leadership of Colonial Fleet officer Commander William “Bill” Adama and President Laura Roslin, the Galactica and its crew take up the task of leading the small fugitive fleet of survivors into space in search of a fabled refuge known as Earth.
American Heritage Leather Duffle Bag by J.W. Hulme | In case you are looking for the greatest duffle bag ever made, your search is over. The J.W. Hulme leather duffle bag is the Rolls Royce of carry-ons. It’s the kind of bag that says, “I’m better than you and I am not afraid to talk about it”. The bag is made out of distressed leather and then refined by buffing and antiquing each bag by hand which gives it it’s one in a kind look. It’s only $899 and available at J.W. Hulme. At that price, I would leave the price tag visible. Now Jordon really wants one but we have a rule around here. Any Christmas gifts that will cause us to choose between making our mortgage payment and being homeless will not be considered. Maybe next year, Jordon, maybe next year.
Sergio: One Man’s Fight to Save the World by Samantha Power | I haven’t read it yet but Jordon said it was the best book he read in 2010. The book is about Sergio Vieira de Mello’s who was a Brazilian United Nations diplomat who worked for the UN for more than 34 years, earning respect and praise around the world for his efforts in the humanitarian and political programs of the UN. He was killed in the Canal Hotel Bombing in Iraq along with 20 other members of his staff on 19 August 2003 while working as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Iraq. While the book was quite compelling, it has also been made into a HBO movie. The book is $5.17 on Amazon.com and the DVD is available for $19.98 (in DVD-R format)
Homicide: A Year in the Killing Streets by David Simon | Another one of Jordon’s favourite books of 2010. After falling in love with The Wire, Jordon went out and bought both of David Simon’s books, Homicide and The Corner. David Simon, who was a reporter for The Baltimore Sun, spent four years on the police beat before taking a leave of absence to write this book. He had persuaded the Baltimore police department to allow him unlimited access to the city’s homicide unit for calendar year 1988, and throughout that year he shadowed one shift of detectives as they traveled from interrogations to autopsies, from crime scenes to hospital emergency rooms. Baltimore recorded 234 murders during the year Simon spent with the homicide unit. During the two years he spent writing Homicide, an additional 567 murders occurred.
The Pacific | The Pacific is an epic 10-part miniseries that delivers a realistic portrait of WWII’s Pacific Theatre as seen through the intertwined odysseys of three U.S. Marines – Robert Leckie, John Basilone and Eugene Sledge. The extraordinary experiences of these men and their fellow Marines take them from the first clash with the Japanese in the haunted jungles of Guadalcanal, through the impenetrable rain forests of Cape Gloucester, across the blasted coral strongholds of Peleliu, up the black sand terraces of Iwo Jima, through the killing fields of Okinawa, to the triumphant, yet uneasy, return home after V-J Day. The viewer will be immersed in combat through the intimate perspective of this diverse, relatable group of men pushed to the limit in battle both physically and psychologically against a relentless enemy unlike any encountered before. ($42.99 at Amazon.com)
Survivorman | Hand Made Fire Piston | A fire piston, sometimes called a fire syringe, is a device of ancient origin which is used to kindle fire. It uses the principle of the heating of a gas (in this case air) by its rapid compression to ignite a piece of tinder, which is then used to set light to kindling. Jordon and Mark enjoy learning different fire making methods at the lake (which often fail and they default to matches). $80 from Les Stroud Productions.
Snowshoes and Solitude :: We are a big fan of the show Survivorman around the house but one of the questions I always have is how we he do if his isolation lasted longer than 7 days. According to some friends who have seen the DVD, Snowshoes and Solitude goes a long way in answering that question and I am told it is worth watching and owning. $19.99 from Les Stroud Productions
Sportcraft Taverner Bristle Dartboard | A tournament-quality, 18 inch bristle dartboard with traditional colors, a matte finish, steel wiring on the inside. Deluxe hinges complete the look of this stylish, entertaining wall piece. It would look great hanging up at the cabin. The best part about darts is that you don’t really have to be that great at it to have a great time playing it.
Kodak Zi8 or Kodak Playsport video camera | Jordon owns a Kodak Zi8 camera and we love it. It has a microphone jack which means that you can easily add an external 1/8 microphone for even better sound. It allows you to record High Definition video (1080p at 30 fps with 16:9 aspect ratio) and comes with some half-decent editing software. Zi8 is $119 from Amazon while the Playsport is $114 from Amazon.
Some recommended accessories for the Zi8
- Shoe mount compatible with all pro & consumer video camcorders
- Patent pending interlocking design
- 600 lumens with built-in diffuser
- Slim lightweight design
- Safe to touch-does not get hot $29 from Amazon
Adorama Heavy Duty L-bracket with 2 Standard Flash Shoe Mounts | Jordon has one of these and mounts either a miniature shotgun microphone and/or a video light on it. For $9.99 from Amazon it’s a great addition to any one’s camera bag. $9.99 for Amazon
Olympus PEN E-P1 12.3 MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens | The E-P1 is, essentially, an Olympus E-620 crowbarred into a compact, rangefinder-style body. Aside from the changes necessitated by the removal of the mirror and optical viewfinder – and a slight firmware upgrade (for new live view features, improved image processing) it is as fully fledged as any mid-range SLR but in a much more compact body. $599 from Amazon
If you aren’t looking for a DSLR but want more control than a compact point and shoot, check out the Fujifilm s2000HD with 15x zoom. After agonizing over which camera to purchase last year, Jordon bought one of these after reading countless reviews.
The FinePix S2000HD is a compact and lightweight 10-megapixel camera with a 15x optical zoom lens and HD movie recording/output. The FinePix S2000HD is the first Fujifilm model to offer full compatibility with HDTV systems for both stills and movies. In addition to true HD movies (at 1280 x 720 pixels) and widescreen stills (at 1920 x 1080), the FinePix S2000HD’s HD output allows the camera to display ultra-clear high-definition photographs and movies on an HDTV. Other key S2000HD features include continuous shooting up to 13.5 frames per second at 3MP, Dual Image Stabilization for blur-free images, and extensive photographic control including 13 scene position settings.
While L.L. Bean doesn’t offer these in Canada, if they did, we would be getting one for the cabin. It’s a customized accent for your home or cottage, displaying the name of any US city or town, its state and its latitude and longitude. All you have to do is specify city/town and state, and they will be printed on the sign, along with the city’s coordinates. It accommodates up to 14 characters, including spaces, for the town name and up to 14 for the state. Pine base. Indoor or outdoor use, sheltered location recommended. $29.95 from L.L. Bean
Ballpark Pens | If your husband is a fan of sports history like Jordon is, you will want to check out these great handmade pens made out of wood from historic stadiums like Yankee Stadium ($200), Fenway Park ($220), the Polo Grounds ($260 and I had to ask where it was), or Boston Garden ($140).
Maine Guide Rolling Duffle, Waxed-Canvas from L.L. Bean | Jordon hates cheap luggage. It has no character, it doesn’t wear well and in the end it’s a waste of money. If your loved one travels at all, you may want to consider a luggage upgrade and L.L. Bean has a great option. Weather resistant, rugged and classic, this bag is made to go the distance, year after year, gaining character along the way. Crafted from rugged 22 oz. waxed-cotton canvas, a traditional and dependable favourite of sportsmen for generations. Leather trim and antiqued-brass hardware. This convenient duffle is easy to pack and even easier to transport. It opens wide like a doctor’s bag for neat and organized packing. Interior straps and mesh pockets help secure gear. Twin front cargo pockets hold cell phone, keys and last-minute extras. Back document pocket keeps itinerary close at hand. Smooth-Glide in-line skate wheels and locking telescoping handle let you maneuver this bag easily through airports, lobbies and parking lots. End handles for easy lifting. Available at L.L. Bean for $199
Kenton Sorenson Leather Natural Leather Dopp Kit | The Kenton Sorenson dopp kit is the perfect holiday gift. This dopp kit is hand made in Wisconsin using natural leather that will develop an amazing deep golden brown color with regular use. The kit has a simple leather wrap around tie closure that can also be used to keep the kit open while in use. $145 from Context
Jordon is a fan of fine watches and while some of them are totally unaffordable, this Paris Mechanical Pocket Watch from Charles Hubert is fantastic looking. It’s a sleek, silver-tone update of a classic style which combines 17-jewel mechanical movement with a skeleton dial. If you are shopping for a someone that appreciates a fine watch, this may be a great gift at an affordable price. It also comes with a fine gift box. $84 from Amazon
If you can find what you are looking for, make sure you check out one of the other 2010 Christmas Gift Guides
In case you are looking, here are the 2009 Gift Guides
If I missed anything or if my suggestion made you think I was absolutely crazy, let me know in the comments. You can access the current edition and previous years list of Christmas gift guides here.